Letter to Grigori Alexinsky, January 7, 1908

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 7 January 1908

First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIII. Sent from Geneva to Vienna. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 157

January 7, 1908

Dear Pyotr,

Nadezhda Konstantinovna and I arrived at Geneva today.[1] We haven’t decided finally where to stay: Alexander Alexandrovich is very much against Geneva, and we are reconnoitring in other places.

But we have to find out just what the situation here is as well. Please write immediately (1) whether you know of a suitable person to manage the printing press and the forwarding section[2]; (2) what you think of the doc [tor][3] as such; (3) what particularly should be borne in mind about the printing press; [does it need ] an owner in view of the fact that it [belongs] to the CO of the Bolshevik [group] of the Stockholm Congress? Why do you consider only the Menshevik printing press to be the property of the CC? (4) Do you think that a weekly paper is possible, and what approximate sale could it count on? 300–500–1,000?

We received your letter in Berlin amidst the panic caused by the arrest of the 17,[4] and therefore destroyed it without a sufficiently attentive reading.

Reply to the address....

How is your health? When [app]roximately will [you ] be able to come back here? Has your health [at all ] improved during this period?

All the best....

  1. After his return from the Party’s London Congress, Lenin lived in Finland, near St. Petersburg. In view of the arrests that had started, the Bolshevik Centre decided to transfer the publication of Proletary from Finland to some foreign country. Accordingly, Lenin, together with A. A. Bogdanov and I. F. Dubrovinsky, was instructed to go to Switzerland. Lenin left Finland in December 1907, spent a few days in Stockholm waiting for N. K. Krupskaya, stayed three days in Berlin and arrived at Geneva on January 7, 1908.
  2. A reference to the Proletary printing-shop and its forwarding section.
  3. Part of the sheet on which the letter was written was torn off and is missing. The words and phrases restored from the remaining letters and from the context are bracketed.—Ed.
  4. The arrests in Berlin were connected with the changing of money expropriated in Tiflis on June 13, 1907. The organiser of the expropriation, Kamo (Ter-Petrosyan), and all its participants managed to escape. But the tsarist government informed the police abroad of the serial numbers of the 500–ruble banknotes seized in the expropriation; in December 1907, persons changing these banknotes were simultaneously arrested in Berlin, Munich, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Geneva. In November 1907, Kamo was betrayed by the provocateur Y. A. Zhitomirsky and arrested in Berlin. The Russian Government, having established Kamo’s identity, secured his extradition as a criminal. During the search for the Tiflis expropriators, arrests were carried out in the Russian Social-Democratic colonies in Paris, Munich, Geneva and Stockholm.